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Hey guys.
New to the group here. I just had a question for you guys. It’s my first time building something and having a project like this. I’m looking to build a cafe out of a 70s CB. Now my two options are a 1976 CB750. Or a 1974 CB450. Which do you think would be the best route. Thanks
 

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The best one is the one that runs and has paperwork. I see alot of CB450's selling for more than inline fours, and prices creeping up every year, so as long as you dont hack it up, it will hold its value.
 

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Torsion valve springs, from the 1970's
I've heard some people on here say they can do it, scares the heck out of me, are you actually going to ride it lots or is it an art project ? If it's an art project I like the look of the 450 jugs.

Lot lighter to move around the shop too.
Fewer parts too, it can't help but be cheaper and easier.
 

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450 is somewhat lighter, much simpler and easier to move around than a 750 4 cylinder. Against that, more parts are available for a 750. Easier I think to make a 750 cafe racer/race replica but they are not as easy to ride, so it comes down to personal choice.
 

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First time building something, which do you think would be the best route:

A single cylinder engine motorcycle. Fewer parts, better starter bike to ride, cheaper to insure and you might be able to get it running as good as it can possibly run.
 

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750 has a chain primary drive and the 450 has gear primary ;) I bet you can guess yourself, which one will wear out first the chain or the spur gears


You will know when your primary chain is stretched by the amount of increased backlash in the transmission.
 

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I've had several CB750's, both SOHC and DOHC and they are great old bikes to put around on and even for short commutes. I've also had many CB/CL450 DOHC's and I like them too. what it boils down to is, How are you going to ride it? If you are used to riding a modern sport bike and buzzing it @ 9000 -10000rpm all day they might take it for years, these old air cooled bikes wont! if you get a CB/CL450 and run it @ 9,000rpm all day it will probably crap out a cam chain or piston ring inside of 15,000miles. 750's won't turn quite as many rpms but might last a little longer. Remember that bikes made in the 60's and 70's were only meant to last 4or 5 years so they are all on borrowed time now that they are 40 + years old now. Also, even with mods they still won't handle or stop like a modern bike. So what it is , is for fun and looks, if that's your deal then go for it. Note; Honda made a retro CB1100 a few years ago and it was as close as you could get to retro looks and modern handling and it didn't sell well because people said it handled and looked like an old bike! go figure.
 

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For some reason when the OP mentioned CB450, I was thinking Black Bomber and its later variants, but when he mentioned Automatic, it occurred to me that we might be talking about the later CM/CB400/450 series

I don't think there was an Auto version of the older DOHC torsion bar valve spring bike was there?
 

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They had the Dream and then they came out with the Hellcat and as I recall that introduced the 5 speed transmission, the 2 speed auto was about the 5th or 6th generation and by then I believe they were making it with a 3 valve head.
The autos were going very cheap on the used bike market not long ago and none of them had crazy miles on them.
 

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I have seen a few 400 Autos, but not a 450. And clearly we are not talking about the old sixties CB450 anymore.

In the UK the3 valve motor was a replacement for the CB400F (4 cylinder) and none of us wanted to believe that it was faster that the 4. Didn't sell well.

In the UK it came out as the Dream (250) and SuperDream (400) both with 6 speed trans IIRC. There were a few variations on that theme and eventually the 400 grew to 450, but they had nothing in common with the sixties/seventies CB450, apart from naming rights.

Best thing for the OP to buy is a running bike and just run it and have fun. Forget all the cafe racer B/S and ride it.
 
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